One common question that cryptocurrency buyers, new and old, ask is, "Do I really need to purchase a hardware wallet?". Yes, you do. The cryptocurrency space is one of the most risky financial sectors in the world.
It is one of the riskiest because online environments attract high numbers of scammers and malicious hackers. In 2020, crypto criminals stole $1.9 billion worth of tokens through fraud, theft, and ransomware.
A list of the best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets available on the market in 2021
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are digital and decentralized. Since they are decentralized, you own your Bitcoin, and you should store it just as easily as you store your hard bills in your leather wallet. Digital currencies, however, do not have a physical form, so they are stored in a Bitcoin wallet.
A wallet secures your private keys, proving that you are the legitimate owner of your Bitcoin stash. Private keys authorize all outgoing crypto transactions on a blockchain network. Should a malicious actor get a hold of your private key, they can spend or move your cryptocurrencies around as they wish.
Hardware wallets have inbuilt applications that interact with mobile devices or computers. These applications, however, only facilitate transactions and never manage your private keys. The hardware wallet will make a payment details request to the software, await all confirmations, sign the transactions and relay the required digital signature to fulfill the transaction.
Hardware wallets, therefore, are harder to hack and give you much more control over your crypto assets. Below is a rundown on top-performing and secure hardware wallets that you can trust.
The hardware wallet is the cryptocurrency market's gold standard for security. Ledger, the company behind the Ledger Nano X, is one of the leading forces in the cold wallet field. Ledger launched in 2014, and behind it is a powerful team of leading professionals in crypto security, blockchain technology, and safety fields.
Ledger is so prolific in the hardware wallet development field that it has produced and sold over 3 million devices. The Ledger Nano X targets the HODLer and the security enthusiast. It is a reliable hardware wallet that offers ultimate cryptocurrency storage security.
It has the custom-built BOLOS operating system that manages all communications between the Ledger Nano X and connected devices. BOLOS' state-of-the-art security features are CC EAL5+ certified. The CC EAL5+ certification places the Ledger Nano X security measures at par with a bank card’s financial information protection.
The Ledger Nano X has Bluetooth connectivity, meaning that you can use it on portable devices without attaching a cable. Contrary to popular opinion, the wallet’s Bluetooth connection is secure since it only transports public data.
The Ledger Nano X Secure Element powered by BOLOS is designed to resist any hacking attempt via its Bluetooth connection. To protect it against physical damage, the Ledger Nano X has a stainless cover and a high-quality build that keeps it safe from harm should you accidentally drop it.
One other fantastic feature of the Ledger Nano X is that it supports 1500 plus tokens and coins. It also has a large 100mAh battery, meaning that you can use it while out and about without hooking it to power cables.
It has an OLED screen, larger than its predecessor, the Nano S, and has a USB pen drive shape, giving it a compact and clean, modern aesthetic. It is heftier than the Nano S, but it has a more streamlined shape, with its buttons sitting flush with its casing.
The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular and most affordable cryptocurrency hardware wallets in the market. The Ledger Nano S turns five in 2021, which is no mean feat in the turbulent tech hardware sector.
The Nano S is a simple and practical hardware wallet. It does not have all the bells and whistles that the Ledger Nano X has. That said, just like its new counterpart, the Nano S supports 1000 plus cryptocurrencies.
The Ledger Nano S is also a tad clunky should you compare its looks to that of the sleek Nano X. It has a plastic and stainless build. However, the Nano S is compact, discreet, and less beefy than its rival Trezor One. You could easily mistake the Ledger Nano S for a simple USB flash drive.
The Nano S has simple two-button navigation buttons, which make manual navigation a bit of a challenge. It, however, has the Ledger Live application, an easy-to-use streamlined app. Ledger Live will support interactions with the hardware wallets.
The Ledger Nano S does not have Bluetooth connectivity or an internal battery. To use it, you will have to connect it to a computer or phone using its micro-USB cable. It, nevertheless, has an Android app and integrates seamlessly with web wallets such as MyCrypto, MetaMask, and MyEtherWallet.
One of the best hardware wallets to store your BTC, the Nano S can manage 29 assets via Ledger Live. Since it has limited hard drive capacity, you can only run three wallet apps on it at a go. If your portfolio is diverse, then the larger capacity Ledger Nano X is a better bet for you.
The Ledger Nano S has a CC EAL5+ certified secure element. It also runs the BOLOS proprietary OS that isolates your private key from the hardware wallet's applications. Ledger wallets have the National Cybersecurity Agency of France's First Level Security Certificate or CSPN.
The Trezor T is premium hardware designed to meet the needs of the active trader and the HOLDer. It is a hardware wallet that can store over 1000 cryptocurrencies. It also supports all common coins such as Bitcoin, ether, Bitcoin cash, and Litecoin alongside other smaller market cap niche coins.
Looks wise, the Trezor T is different and bulky. It looks like a car key fob. A top-notch hardware wallet, it has a built-in touchscreen which makes the Trezor T easy to use. Its large touchscreen makes actions such as PIN and seed phrase generation less cumbersome than it is on Ledger hardware wallets.
Unlike Ledger's BOLOS OS, which is proprietary, the Trezor T software and hardware specifications have an open-source license. You can turn the Trezor T into a BTC-only wallet by switching its firmware to a variant that supports Bitcoin operations.
The Trezor T has top-notch security features such as its constant firmware updates and verification requests. This hardware wallet will verify the use of its official firmware every time you load your wallet to a device. This action keeps malware out of Trezor T's operating system.
In terms of build quality, the Trezor T is well built and durable. The Trezor T most outstanding feature, however, is touchscreen functionality. You will save lots of time moving your coins from an exchange to your wallet through its touchscreen feature.
Most crypto investors do not understand that leaving their BTC on an exchange could expose their private keys to hackers that often target cryptocurrency exchanges' hot wallets. An exchange may have basic security features, but they are not designed to provide the ultimate protection for your crypto assets since they are connected to the virtual world.
Even the best cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia which is considered a safe country have had problems historically with securing funds.
It would be best if you stayed in charge of the security of your Bitcoin to keep it available for use and free from malicious use. Private key ownership gives you control over your wealth, but it increases the weight of responsibility and security.
Advanced users might use software wallets installed on smart devices and laptops. That said, wallet applications are easy to use but are also ultimately vulnerable to attacks. Their connection to the online world makes them easy targets for hackers.
The best Bitcoin wallets isolate your private keys from the virtual world. They are convenient and ensure that your private keys stay safe in the confines of the hardware wallet. The hardware wallet processes the transaction validation process internally and will not expose your private keys to a computer like hot wallets or wallet applications may.
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